Many of you interested in establishing a garden this summer might be wondering what to plant with gardenias.
Companion planting is incredibly popular with flower and garden enthusiasts because it gives your garden a variety of colors along with a pleasing aesthetic.
However, in my experience, not all flowers get along when planted together.
It’s crucial to understand what to grow with gardenias to extend your garden’s life, health, and function.
What to Plant with Gardenias
Gardenias, though beautiful, are notoriously fussy plants. They prefer morning sunlight and afternoon shade, so it’s essential that their companion plants feel the same way. You’ll want to choose plants that prefer well-drained soil that won’t interfere with the gardenias roots, such as impatiens, primrose, begonias, or shrubs like boxwood and camellia.
Choosing the Right Neighbors for Your Gardenias
I’ve spent a lot of time establishing the plants that will work best with my beloved gardenias. Of course, you’ve got to pick flowers that work for you.
In other words, choose plants that you like to work with and look at.
First and foremost, start by knowing that gardenias grow well in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10.
When working with that knowledge, you can narrow down which plants you can successfully plant next to your gardenias. From there, choose the ones that you like the most.
Plants that Work Well with Gardenias
When it comes to planting gardenias, I have found they grow well next to wax begonias, primrose, and impatiens.
However, you don’t have to limit yourself to these choices as hosta, strawberry begonia, and ferns are also outstanding options.
When I’m looking for shrubs to offset the glossy beauty of my gardenias, I always go to boxwood, camellia, Virginia sweetspire, and summersweet.
Each of these hardy shrubs will grow in acidic soil that drains well, and as long as they’re planted far enough away, your gardenias will love them!
Gardenias are Particular
Some plants could not care less what you plant next to them, but gardenias are a bit on the picky side. Like many of us, they prefer shade on sunny afternoons while soaking up the morning sunshine.
While gardenias love moisture, they can’t stand soil that refuses to drain. The plants mentioned above can thrive in those same soil conditions and will keep your gardenias happy.
Gardenias are showy and beautiful, and they like to be the center of attention in the garden.
Never crowd them, and give them plant friends with shallow roots so they won’t interfere with the growth of your gardenias.
They have a fantastic scent as well, so try not to plant heavily scented flowers next to them.
Annuals and Gardenias: The Perfect Pair
When I’m considering what to plant with gardenias, it never fails that I turn to annuals. Not only are they gorgeous and hardy, but they don’t have a smell that’s overpowering.
Because of this, they go really well with my gardenias, and they bloom beautifully.
Finding the perfect plant to place with gardenias can be a chore, but annuals make it that much easier.
You’ll need to conduct a little hardiness research depending on where you live, but gardenias can prosper next to African daisies, blanket flowers, superbells, petunias, snapdragons, and sunflowers!
Before picking your annual companions, take the time to consider the growing conditions of each plant.
Moving forward, you can take a look at which textures and colors you want to plant next to your gardenias.
Suppose you prefer perennials over annuals, not a problem!
Various perennials complement gardenias well, including hostas, ferns, cast iron plant, and toad lilies. Make sure you go with various perennials that love the morning sun and thrive in the afternoon shade.
Try Landscaping for Your Gardenias
If you’re having trouble landing on which type of plants you’d like to put with your gardenias, consider landscaping them.
Trees such as dogwood and Japanese maple are outstanding considerations as gardenia companions.
Shrubs, such as azaleas and rhododendrons, look super alongside gardenias and prefer the same type of growing conditions.
Also, Purple Pixie offers an incredible contrast to gardenias, and the two together look incredible.
Frequently Asked Questions About What to Plant with Gardenias
Can I plant companion plants right next to gardenias?
Regardless of the companion plants you choose, you’ll want to give your gardenias some space. They don’t like overcrowding, and any interference with their roots will keep them from flourishing in your garden, possibly preventing them from blooming.
How much space do my gardenias need to grow?
In general, gardenias will need at least 3 to 6 feet of space to stay comfortable and thriving. The amount of space required will depend on what you are planting next to your gardenia, as all plants have their own root depth. When in doubt, choose a shallow-rooted companion plant and shoot for 4 feet of distance between them.
Which plants will work best with my gardenias?
Every plant that we’ve listed above will work well when planted next to gardenias. However, you can always log on to the USDA website and download the list of plants that grow happily in gardenia hardiness zones. This way, you’ve got plenty of options, and your garden can stay true to your vision.
Planting Companions for Gardenias
Because they’re big and beautiful, gardenias are often the focal point of a garden. Not only do they love the attention, but they tend to thrive when they’re at the center of it.
Choosing plants within the annual and perennial families that will encourage your gardenias growth while flourishing independently is the best way to ensure that you maintain a balanced garden and happy gardenias.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.